Nepal

Nepali climber summits world's 14 tallest mountains in record time

 Nirmal Pirja
Courtesy: Nirmal Pirja

A 36-year-old Nepali climber named Nirmal Purja has reached the summit of the world's 14 highest mountains (all at least 26,350 feet tall) in just over six months.

Why it matters: The fastest previous ascent of all 14 peaks — which are all in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges that stretch across China, India, Nepal and Pakistan — took nearly eight years. He smashed the record to smithereens. Purja credits his endurance to his natural physiology and his intense military training. Prior to attempting this feat, he spent 10 years in the British special forces.

China's growing influence on display in Xi's Nepal visit

Xi's arrival in Kathmandu. Photo: Xinhua/Gao Jie via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Nepal over the weekend bearing gifts: a pledge of $500 million in economic aid for the impoverished Himalayan country and a series of infrastructure deals worth billions more.

Why it matters: Phanindra Dahal of BBC Nepali, and a former Axios fellow, emails from Kathmandu that Xi's visit was "massive news" in a country at the center of a tug of war between India and China: